Wednesday, July 9, 2014

euro-whirl 2014: the white cliffs of dover.

hiking along the cliffs of dover was far & away one of our favorite moments of this trip. it was a warm, calm day, & the bright white of the cliffs were so startlingly beautiful. 

have you ever seen the beatles movie help!? it's so wonderfully quirky & kooky. my siblings & i grew up on that movie, & it's endlessly quotable (although perhaps a little less so than the beatles other movie, the delight that is a hard days night). anyway, there's kind of a running joke in the movie that this swimmer swims up, randomly, & asks the group where a certain landmark is. at one point, the beatles are curling out on the ice & one of the stones (?) is actually a bomb (why would somebody be trying to blow up the beatles, you ask?! it's a long story. watch the movie!) anyway, they escape the bomb but it leaves a huge hole in the ice after blowing up. out of the frigid water of the ice hole pops this swimmer, who flips up his & asks, "white cliffs of dover?" after just looking at him for a split second, john points the way, the swimmer readjusts his goggles, & disappears back under the water. it's so great. i tried to find a clip of this online, but alas, i could not. but here's a still from that part in the film. funny. the swimmer (who was actually played by the beatles' road manager & assistant, mal evans. trivia!) shows up again at the very end of the movie. while we were walking along the cliffs i kept thinking of that part.

everything was so peaceful right up against the ocean. what i'd love to do someday in the future is ride the ferry that sails from dover over to france (we could see france from the cliffs!) & get a good look at the white cliffs in their entirety from out in the water.

fields & fields of bright green farmland. it was funny, i mean - all this farmland is owned by someone. or several someones, i'm not sure. as we were walking along one of the great natural beauties of the world, there was a guy in the background running a noisy tractor over the field, haha:

living on the edge:

man oh man. the best little seat right there. right up against the water!

(ben was nervous the whole time that i was sitting too close to the edge. he kept saying, "scoot back!" don't worry, i was totally safe. he's one to talk :)


ferries over to france left from that port there on the left:

what is it about standing right up against cliffs over water, no matter the height, that almost make me want to do a pocahontas-like swan dive gracefully into the water? just kind of jump, with reckless abandon, even though the thought also terrifies me at the same time? (with music swelling in the background, of course). does anyone else ever feel that way? (i know ben does. we talked about it as we both craned our necks over the edge)

i don't know how ben managed not to be in a single photo from this photo, but daggum, he got away with it, the sneaker.

the white rocks felt kind of cool - all smooth & chalky. 

like i said, dover was one of the highlights of our trip. an amazing walk/hike in a beautiful setting. still wondering if mal evans' swimming character ever ended up finding the cliffs he sought...

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